"It was an organizational decision," head coach Todd Bowles said. "We were talking about a salary reduction, we couldn't come to an agreement, and eventually it led to this."
"It wasn't an easy time," Bowles said. "David's been a Jet all his life. He was born and bled green. He's obviously a guy who is well-liked in the building. It's part of the business, it's never an easy thing to go through. There's never a good time that it could happen. There was a breakdown in talks and that's what led to this."
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news Tuesday.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed Schefter's report.
ESPN.com's Rich Cimini reported Harris didn't expect to be released:
A second-round pick in the 2007 draft, Harris has spent the last 10 seasons with the Jets. According to Pro Football Reference, his 147 starts are the 10th-most in team history, and his 708 career tackles are the fourth-most by a Jets player.
Cutting Harris appears to be a cost-savings move. He's in the final year of his deal, and New York will save his entire $6.5 million salary by letting him go, per Over the Cap.
As the Record's Art Stapleton noted, the Jets put Harris in a difficult position by releasing him at this point in the offseason:
Most teams have addressed needs at linebacker through free agency or the draft. Despite his experience and track record, Harris may not have a long list of potential suitors should he want an opportunity to play in 2017.
The Jets, meanwhile, are seemingly putting a lot of faith in Demario Davis, who is the likeliest candidate to replace Harris at inside linebacker. New York recently acquired Davis in a deal that included 2014 first-round pick Calvin Pryor.
Davis, who played with the Jets from 2012 to 2015, had 99 combined tackles in 15 starts for the Cleveland Browns last year.